march 2002, letter to g
thanks for the advice.
know what? a few days after, i'm totally over M(!). of course, i still remember that fateful night especially when I can still smell him in my bed and my pillow. but given a certain degree of rational perspective, i know that there is no use torturing myself on the why's and the what for's.
having said that, i feel i also owe it to myself to try to explain why i was overreacting. not to justify, for indeed, what's the use? but more to try to get off clean. you know, straighten it out in my mind. maybe because i want you (as my bff) to understand a little what i'm going through. or maybe i want to rehearse what i will say to E once i decide to tell him all about it (which i will in time). either which way let me try to explain.
i think i've already discussed in full what i am going through professionally. what i haven’t explained yet is how this has affected me and the way i interact with people here.
the truth is i can’t explain what is happening to me. except perhaps as any other person who finds himself in the role of a stranger in a foreign land. even my new friends are hours or days away from where i am. at this point, i need to wait for the weekend before i can speak to a friend.
do you know what it’s like to have no one to talk to?
it’s like nothing that is happening to you is real. sometimes i find myself just wanting to scream just because nobody is listening.
and this has such an effect on me as a person. most of the volunteers here think i’m an "introvert". isn’t it funny? introvert! me?! i realised it’s because i have gotten used to not speaking to anyone that even when i am amidst people, i still keep quiet. sometimes i feel suffocated if people speak all at once. all the while, i was thinking, i was once the life of the party, whatever happened to me? weird, right?
you know what? i have been taken to further isolating myself by frequently going to the abandoned train station 30 minutes walk away from where i live. it was built way back when the plantation was a center of commercial and social activity. now the trains don’t even pass by anymore and the station is all vandalised and crumbling. it looks like all the lost hopes and dreams of the community here are captured by the station that has not welcomed a guest for years and the track that forgot the heat of metal running against metal. there i find peace.
in this state of mind, M found me. i guess when M came i was just so hungry for any kind of human contact. and when he showed me tenderness, its like a showing an addict who’s dying for a fix some narc that is for free. no wonder i sounded shrill and out of control.
but i'll be o.k. now that i have been told i will be re-assigned to the city, away from the oppressive silence of the plantation, i can finally see the light. even now i can feel changes in me. it’s good because i already worry about myself sometimes.
i’ll park my pen here.
ps. M called. we agreed to spend some time together in cape town last week of this month. i told him i’d rather discuss things with him when we see each other. don't worry, i'll play it cool. i understood your message loud and clear.